$1 billion worth of bitcoin linked to the Silk Road seized by the U.S.

first_img– Advertisement – While the Silk Road was in operation, thousands of drug dealers and other unlawful vendors used it distribute illegal drugs, unlawful goods and services to well over 100,000 buyers. At the time it was taken down seven years ago, Silk Road had nearly 13,000 listings for illegal drugs and “many more listings” offering illegal services such as computer hacking and murder for hire, according to the complaint. Those generated sales totaling more than 9.5 million bitcoins. The complaint also alleges that the Silk Road used a process to make it harder to track individual transactions of cryptocurrency.The forfeiture could be temporary though. The U.S. still needs to prove its case before a judge before it can control the bitcoin funds for good.— CNBC’s Ryan Browne contributed reporting. Bitcoin has since taken off as a mainstream investment vehicle in recent years. It climbed above $15,000 on Thursday, hitting the highest level since January 2018. The cryptocurrency has more than doubled year to date.This week, London-based blockchain analysis firm Elliptic said that it picked up on the massive movement of bitcoin spurred by the DOJ. The company reported 69,369 bitcoins — worth about $1 billion — had been moved out of a bitcoin wallet, which had the fourth-highest balance of any in the world. Tom Robinson, co-founder and chief scientist of Elliptic, said the movement of bitcoins “may represent Ulbricht or a Silk Road vendor moving their funds” but that it “seems unlikely that Ulbricht would be able to conduct a bitcoin transaction from prison.”The U.S. agencies were able to track down those illicit funds through a unit within the IRS that specializes in tracing virtual currency transactions. The IRS agents were able to identify 54 new bitcoin transactions executed by the Silk Road, which appear to be proceeds of some of that illegal activity, the complaint said. The agency was then able to trace that money to a specific bitcoin address that appeared to have hacked the bitcoin funds from the Silk Road.- Advertisement – Thousands of bitcoins were taken by law enforcement this week, in what the Justice Department said was the largest seizure of cryptocurrency in the history of the agency.“Silk Road was the most notorious online criminal marketplace of its day,” U.S. Attorney David Anderson of the Northern District of California said in a civil complaint Thursday. “The successful prosecution of Silk Road’s founder in 2015 left open a billion-dollar question. Where did the money go?”Silk Road allowed people to buy and sell drugs and other illegal goods, and use bitcoin to anonymously fund those transactions. The dark web marketplace was shut down by U.S. federal authorities in 2013 and its founder, Ross Ulbricht, was sentenced to life in prison two years later.- Advertisement –center_img The U.S. government seized an unprecedented $1 billion worth of bitcoin linked to criminal marketplace, the Silk Road.- Advertisement – Omar Marques | LightRocket | Getty Imageslast_img read more

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PRO14: Wins for Ulster and Edinburgh | Rugby Union News

first_img– Advertisement – The Fiji prop and hooker David Cherry crossed the line in each half as the Edinburgh pack did the damage.The fog made visibility extremely difficult for the majority of the second half but Edinburgh had built a commanding lead before the conditions deteriorated.Richard Cockerill’s side lost their first three games of the Guinness PRO14 season before bouncing back to beat Scarlets last week and they made it a Welsh double as Cardiff suffered a third consecutive defeat following their flying start to the campaign. John Cooney scored 15 points in Ulster’s win – Advertisement – Michael Lowry takes on the Glasgow defence Michael Lowry takes on the Glasgow defence

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Election outcomes, what they mean, what comes next

first_imgMarkos and Weigel also touched on the “defund the police” messaging and if it helped or harmed. Dave thinks it harmed more than it helped in certain areas, like Iowa.You can watch the full segment here: Kerry added an insight: “You build your strategy around your candidate.” For instance, she noted that Biden was always going to be the Rust Belt candidate because he could appeal to the groups there, whereas Bernie Sanders, for example, would’ve had a different coalition because he did better with the Latinx community and non-college educated white men. Overall, though, she said, “Joe Biden and his team did an amazing job with the candidate they had … improving their margins where they could.”Dave Weigel joined for the second half of the show to talk about what he’s learned about 2020 voters while traveling across the country to cover the election for the Washington Post over the course of the cycle, the lawsuits, and lessons from Georgia. While he says Republicans are good at turning voters out, he believes that it’s specifically Trump who is turning out all these Republicans who normally don’t vote. Markos agreed and noted that, because Trump seems to cause increased turnout, turnout among the Republican base is lower when he isn’t on the top of the ballot.Georgia, in particular, provided interesting lessons for both parties. As Weigel explained,The whole discussion about whether we can trust polls or shy voters [is interesting] … because that honestly didn’t work in this election. In Georgia, this is a state where Biden is up 2-3%. [Republicans’] gamble on being as Trump-y as possible is super interesting … it’s a hell of a gamble.- Advertisement – Any postmortem of this election sensibly starts with the Democrats’ choice of candidate—Joe Biden—and Markos, Kerry, and Carolyn discussed how it might have gone differently with, say, Elizabeth Warren or Cory Booker as the contender against Donald Trump. With record turnout for this election, courting diverse sets of key voting groups like white moderates and Black and Latinx communities was key to clinching a win.Carolyn believes the safe and steady image portrayed by Biden helped, and that he became the candidate of choice across various groups not only because he was a foil to Trump’s irrational and unpredictable behavior, but because peoples’ thinking was influenced by the pandemic itself. As she said,I think there was a lot of comfort for a lot of people in having a boring old white guy at the top of the ticket—I mean, Joe Biden doesn’t tweet—and also as a known commodity; he’s been in politics for a long time, he was vice president. I think that had a lot of cache that a lot of Democratic primary voters didn’t quite expect to have at the beginning of this cycle, because pre-COVID, the world felt like a different place. And then COVID set in, and then suddenly everything unfamiliar started feeling extra scary, because we were in uncharted waters compared to everything else. So that might be an element in his success—but, again, it’s hard to know.- Advertisement –center_img – Advertisement –last_img read more

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Avian flu suspected in two Thai children

first_imgJul 23, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – Two children in Thailand are being tested for possible avian influenza infections, which could be the first human cases since the disease resurged in recent weeks, according to news service reports today.The cases involve a 14-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl, both in the northern province of Nong Khai near the Laotian border, according to a Reuters report.A Health Ministry spokeswoman said the boy has a “probable” case but did not say whether he had had contact with chickens, according to the report.The girl had played with chickens, said Dr. Charal Trinvuthiphong, head of disease control in the Health Ministry, as quoted in the story.Meanwhile, suspected avian flu in a 53-year-old woman in Lop Buri province turned out to be a false alarm, the Bangkok newspaper The Nation reported yesterday. The woman was released from a hospital after tests showed she had ordinary influenza, the story said. The newspaper previously reported that the patient had touched a dead chicken in an outbreak area and was very ill.The Reuters report said 10 people in Thailand have been rushed to hospitals this month because of suspected avian flu, but all were sent home after tests showed they were free of the disease. Today marked the first time senior officials publicly reported suspected cases, the story said.In the widespread H5N1 avian flu outbreaks in Thailand last winter, the disease spread to 12 people and killed 8 of them. The disease also claimed 16 human lives in Vietnam. Both countries slaughtered millions of poultry to stop the outbreaks.In recent weeks, avian flu outbreaks have been reported in 15 of Thailand’s 76 provinces. An Agence France-Presse (AFP) report yesterday said the latest outbreaks included three in Bangkok.In other developments, AFP reported yesterday that Indonesia launched a major vaccination program to stop avian flu, which has resurfaced recently on the island of Java.Indonesia’s director of animal health said avian flu killed 3,161 birds in three Java districts in May and claimed another 1,760 in another district in June, according to the story. The outbreaks all occurred in areas hit by avian flu last winter. The official said the government plans to distribute 300 million doses of vaccine in stages.News services also reported today that veterinarians from ten Asian countries will meet in Bangkok from July 28 to 30 to discuss avian flu. The Vietnam News Agency said the meeting, planned by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, will focus on improving surveillance and diagnosis.No more cases of avian flu have been seen in China since the outbreak reported in early July in Anhui province, the Chinese news agency Xinhua reported Jul 21. The story said that 131 people who had been held for medical observation in connection with the outbreak were released Jul 19.last_img read more

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Survey suggests avian flu cases may be going unnoticed

first_imgJan 10, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – A survey conducted in Vietnam in 2004 suggests that human cases of avian influenza may be much more common but less severe than indicated by the numbers of confirmed cases, although the findings are not backed by laboratory testing.In the questionnaire survey of more than 45,000 people in a rural area hit by avian flu in poultry, about 18% reported having had a recent flu-like illness, according to the report in Archives of Internal Medicine.People who had had direct contact with sick or dead poultry had a significantly higher rate of flu-like illness, defined as cough and fever, than those without such contact. The authors—Anna Thorson, MD, PhD, of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm and several colleagues—estimate that 650 to 750 cases were attributable to contact with sick or dead poultry.The findings “are consistent with a higher incidence of HPAI [highly pathogenic avian influenza] among humans than has been recognized previously,” the report says. “The results suggest that the symptoms most often are relatively mild and that close contact is needed for transmission to humans.”The World Health Organization has logged 147 confirmed human cases of H5N1 avian flu, including 78 deaths, since late 2003. Disease experts have often speculated that the true number of cases could be significantly higher because of mild or asymptomatic cases going undetected.As the authors acknowledge, however, the new study is only suggestive, because it involved no blood testing to verify H5N1 infection in the survey participants.Capitalizing on a regular demographic survey conducted in a rural area of Ha Tay province of Vietnam, the authors added questions about flu-like illness and contact with poultry. The survey was conducted in the spring of 2004. Participants were asked if they had been sick with a cough and either fever or dyspnea in the previous 6 months and if they’d had any contact with poultry in that time.About 84% of the 45,476 people surveyed lived in households with poultry, and about 26% (11,755) lived in households that reported sick or dead poultry, the article says.Just having poultry in the household was not a significant risk factor for self-reported flu-like illness, but having sick or dead poultry in the household was (odds ratio, 1.14; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.06 to 1.23). Contact with sick or dead poultry was even more significant, increasing the risk by 73% (odds ratio, 1.73; 95% CI, 1.58 to 1.89).The researchers say the “convincingly higher” risk in people who had direct contact with sick or dead poultry demonstrates that “the flulike illness in our study was not easily transmitted from birds to humans.”The link between illness and contact with sick or dead poultry varied across different age-groups. There was no link at all in children younger than 7, while the association was strongest in adults between the ages of 19 and 45 (odds ratio, 2.36; 95% CI, 2.13 to 2.62).People who had been sick after contact with sick or dead poultry also were more likely to have missed work or school than those who had been sick without such exposure, the report says.The authors state, “In the absence of serological data, we cannot state the cause of disease.” They say the findings could reflect other illnesses that strike both poultry and humans, such as psittacosis, but in the circumstances, avian flu was the most likely cause of the illness linked to contact with sick or dead poultry.The data need to be confirmed by population-based serologic studies and by virologic testing in patients with mild infection, the researchers add.Other disease experts varied in their reactions to the study.Dr. Frederick Hayden, an avian flu specialist at the University of Virginia, said the study was evidence of the need for widespread blood testing in Asia to learn the true incidence of human cases, according to an Associated Press (AP) report today.Dr. Gregory Poland, a flu expert at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., took the findings seriously. “I would call this the smoking gun,” he told the AP. “All of us have been concerned and have guessed that the data we have so far has been the tip of the iceberg.”Poland said the findings suggest that the prevalence of mild human cases in rural areas is “pretty high.”But Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, was skeptical of the authors’ conclusions, given the lack of proof that the survey respondents had avian flu. He is director of the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, publisher of this site.”I don’t believe the study really adds much to our understanding of the possible relationship between H5N1 infection and mild illness,” he said. “There is no serologic data demonstrating that the people even had H5N1 infection. Several recent efforts in Southeast Asia show that very few asymptomatic or mild infections occur in settings where we know H5N1 transmission has occurred.”In addition, the connection between reported illness history and the presence of sick or dead birds could be a result of “recall bias, a common problem in similar retrospective studies,” he said.Thorson A, Petzold M, Chuc NTK, et al. Is exposure to sick or dead poultry associated with flulike illness? Arch Intern Med 2005 Jan 9;166(1):119-23 [Abstract]last_img read more

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Firm wins grant for fast way to make DNA vaccines

first_imgJun 14, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Vical Inc. has been awarded a $6 million federal grant to develop a DNA vaccine manufacturing process that the company says may dramatically speed up production of vaccines for influenza and other diseases.In announcing the grant in a Jun 12 news release, the San Diego company said its process has “the potential to produce several million doses of vaccines in a matter of days.” But officials predicted it will take several years to develop and scale up the process to produce even enough vaccine for clinical trials.The 3-year grant was awarded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.Vical President Vijay Samant said the company’s RapidResponse system is designed to allow fast, large-scale production of DNA vaccines at low cost and is ideal for responding to emerging diseases such as pandemic flu and SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome).The company said the system uses polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to make small segments of DNA, called linear expression cassettes, that include only the DNA sequences essential for the vaccine.Conventional flu vaccine production involves growing the target virus in eggs, which takes several months, and then killing the virus before incorporating it into a vaccine (though one vaccine involves a live, weakened virus, also grown in eggs). Several companies are working on producing flu viruses or pieces of them in cell cultures, a process said to be more flexible and somewhat faster than egg-based production. The European Union approved a cell-based flu vaccine this week.DNA vaccines contain small pieces of the target pathogen’s genetic material instead of a killed or weakened form of the virus. In a separate project, Vical is developing an H5N1 avian flu vaccine that is produced in cell culture, but the RapidResponse process represents a step beyond that, the company said.”The new RapidResponse platform does not use any type of cell-based process. It’s a chemical synthesis enzyme reaction,” Alan Engbring, Vical’s executive director of investor relations, told CIDRAP News.Engbring said the RapidResponse system “has potential use for a wide variety of pathogens, but our development work is likely to be with influenza. It’s a readily accessible virus, it’s well characterized, the biology of protection is well understood, there are ready assays available to determine immunogenicity, and there are animal models available.”Initial research on the process was funded by the US Defense Advance Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the company said. In that work, a single 2-microgram dose of the PCR-produced vaccine protected mice from a lethal dose of H3N2 flu virus, a common human subtype.Engbring said he expects that the 3-year NIAID grant will enable Vical to speed its process to make enough doses of vaccine for clinical trials and to do some preclinical tests. He said it is too early to predict how long it might take to develop the process to the point of commercial-scale production.The company statement said the RapidResponse process could potentially be scaled up by using larger equipment without adding to production time, “conceivably allowing production of hundreds of millions of doses of DNA vaccine during the earliest stages of an outbreak.”Vical’s ongoing H5N1 vaccine project is well ahead of the RapidResponse program, Engbring said. For the H5N1 vaccine, Escherichia coli is used to produce a plasmid, or loop of DNA, containing genetic material from the target virus. Production time is “measured in weeks”—faster than with egg-based production, but slower than what the RapidResponse system promises to make possible, the company said.The company’s goal is to start a phase 1 clinical trial of the H5N1 vaccine in the second half of this year, Engbring said. “It wouldn’t make sense to stop that program to wait for this one to catch up. We do intend to keep moving forward with the plasmid-based H5N1 program. Eventually these could merge somewhere down the road, but right now we’re keeping them separate.”See also: Jun 7, 2006, CIDRAP News story “Firm gets funds for work on avian flu DNA vaccine”last_img read more

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Dragan Pujas – from trainee to the new President of the Management Board of Plava Laguna in 13 years

first_imgIt is interesting how Dragan Pujas started his business journey in Plava Laguna as an intern back in 2006, and later, as he developed and progressed in 2018, he became a member of the Management Board. The entire journey from trainee to CEO took 13,4 years. The new President of the Management Board is appointed by the same decision as the current member of the Management Board, Mr. Dragan Pujas, with a mandate lasting from October 01, 2019. In the first six months, Plava Laguna in hotels and apartments recorded an increase in overnight stays by 6,5%. Interestingly, according to sales channels, an increase was recorded in the group segment by 9% with a share of 38%, and in the individual segment by 13% and a share of 35%. Due to the extremely bad weather, the campsites recorded a drop in overnight stays of 1,8%. In total, looking at all types of accommodation capacities, in the first six months Plava Laguna realized 1.43 million overnight stays, which is an increase of 3,2% compared to last year. In the first six months 3% more overnight stays At its meeting held on August 29, 2019, the Supervisory Board of Plava Laguna passed a decision revoking the current President of the Management Board, Neven Staver, from the position of President of the Management Board on September 30, 2019.last_img read more

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Education for private renters – IQM destination Hvar town

first_imgSource and photo: Hvar Tourist Board It will take place before the start of the training awarding certificates to all stakeholders of the IQM Destination Hvar project. Namely, in order to be in line with the qualitative development of the destination, the stakeholders of the IQM Destination city of Hvar fulfilled the expectations of partners and guests, networked with IQM Destination city of Hvar partners of the tourist offer in the destination and also met the standards set for each category of entities. hostels, camps, private renters, family farms, restaurants, bars, attractions, souvenir shops and associations. The Tourist Board of the town of Hvar in cooperation with the companies Feel IQM and Interligo doo organizes education for private renters which will be held March 18 at the Arsenal Gallery. March 18 – Arsenal Gallery11.30 am Awarding of certificates to IQM program stakeholders12,30 – 13,30 Vedran Pražen, Smartingo doo, Digital Marketing13,30 – 14,00 Pero Matić, Dokumentalist doo, Financial planning14,30 – 15,30 Anamarija Cicarelli, Interligo doo, Practical advicecenter_img Vedran Pražen from Smartingo doo will say more in the digital marketing education program, Pero Matić from Dokumentalist doo will talk about financial planning, while Anamarija Cicarelli from Interligo doo will give practical advice to private renters. Finally, the Tourist Board of the town of Hvar invites private renters to join the education and prepare for a successful upcoming season.last_img read more

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The HGK survey shows that 80% of domestic companies feel the effects of coronavirus on their business

first_imgAs far as exports and imports are concerned, an equal number of companies are experiencing difficulties (around 65%), with a significant increase in the number of medium and large companies that have difficult imports due to the border blockade. The activities that record the largest decline in imports are still travel agencies and transport and storage, and this problem is increasingly faced by companies from the manufacturing industry, construction and wholesale and retail trade. The decline in exports and imports is most felt in the counties of Istria and Varaždin. The largest increase in the share of affected companies compared to the previous measurement was recorded in education, services and professional, scientific and technical activities, and the most common difficulties of entrepreneurs are still related to the completion of existing and already contracted jobs (growth of 9%) and reduced demand in the domestic market (growth of 8%). Travel agencies were the first to be hit by the crisis, so it is not surprising that more than half of them report a drop in bookings of 20 to 60%. According to a statement from the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, this is an increase of 13 percentage points in just 16 days. Almost 60% of companies reported that they have so far recorded losses of up to HRK 500.000 (+ 5pp compared to the previous measurement), and if the situation continues, 11% expect losses of more than HRK XNUMX million. According to the latest survey results, 7% of companies have workers in self-isolation. Among them, more than half use the possibility of working from home, while in 30% of companies working from home is not possible. Micro companies are still the most flexible in this regard (59% support the possibility of working from home).So far, almost 2000 companies from all over the country have participated in the Croatian Chamber of Commerce survey.center_img “Tourism, agriculture and transport are still the most affected, and due to the decision to cancel mass gatherings, arts, entertainment and recreation are now among the most endangered activities. Of particular concern is the fact that 6% of micro-enterprises and 3% of large companies estimate that they will have to shut down their business if this situation continues for another month. “, said the President of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce Luka Burilović, commenting on the results of the survey. Photo: HGKlast_img read more

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